BOSTON -- After two intense days at Fenway Park, the Orioles were hoping to get down to some baseball on Wednesday night, instead both Kevin Gausman and Adam Jones were ejected and the club was left to pick up the pieces in the wake of a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox.
"It's frustrating," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's hard to keep turning the other cheek, but you keep trying to. It's unfortunate that those decisions come, but we have to deal with it now and it affects a lot of people, a lot of players and a lot of things that go on."
After Tuesday night saw Chris Sale whiz a 97 mph fastball behind Manny Machado, Commissioner Rob Manfred gathered both organizations in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon to try to quell the rising tensions.
The umpires received the message, and crew chief Sam Holbrook was at the ready at the first sign of any possible escalation.
In the second inning Gausman threw his first curveball of the day and in trying to get some depth out of the pitch, it slipped upon release and hit Xander Bogaerts in the hip at 76 mph, prompting Holbrook to eject the Orioles' starter.
"I didn't know who he threw [out] at first," Gausman said. "Just complete bush league, to be honest. To throw me out in that situation, after what Sale did yesterday, throwing 98 behind a guy, on purpose, everybody knew it. And, they're going to throw me out for hitting a guy with a curveball, 0-0 in the second inning? It's pretty bush league."
"I was shocked," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who was animated after the ejection. "I just could not believe that would happen. Now we're having to sit here answering questions while the Red Sox are on their way home. It's malarkey. It's unacceptable."
The early ejection forced Baltimore to tax both its bullpen and its rotation, as Thursday's scheduled starter Ubaldo Jimenez came on to pitch three innings in relief late in the game.
Following the game, Holbrook addressed the incident:
"Just given the situation and the tension between the two clubs and all the stuff that's gone over the past few weeks, we're all on high alert with anything. I know that the ball was a curveball, but it hit him square in the back and just making a split decision at that point right there. There needs to be an end to this stuff, and I felt like an ejection was the right thing to do at that time, and that's what we did. Thankfully, we didn't have any more problems the rest of the game," Holbrook told a pool reporter.
Holbrook was again put in a position to eject an O's player when Jones was tossed on his way back to the dugout following a fifth-inning strikeout.
Though it looked as if he may have taken issue with the pitch prior to his strikeout -- a high curveball -- Jones declined to comment on the matter.
Feeling a bit stung by all the emotional events over the past few days in Boston, the Orioles sounded like a team ready to move on from the drama of this series.
"I'm the most excited person to get out of Boston, get on with it and get out of here. All we want to do here is play ball," said Joseph.